They Will Inherit the Earth

Volunteer with Children in Fiji

Work with young children and caregivers in rural communities in Fiji to give children their best start in life.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Travel to the Dawasamu District and support early childhood development efforts within local communities in the region. Assist with extra-curricular games and activities, supporting local children’s educational and personal development.

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undefined 31 May 2022
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Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Learn to cook iTaukei food

Make a traditional drink from kava root

Learn indigenous plant medicine

Hike to the top of Tova Peak

Fish with iTaukei women

Weave a traditional mat

Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park

Boat to Leleuvia Island

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Natalie Primrose

16 Aug, 2018
Volunteering with children in Fiji was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I am currently in school to become a teaching assistant and this experience gave me valuable skills towards this. I was able to help the amazing children in their classes and I learned as much from them as they did from me. The GVI team provided excellent support from the time I first inquired about the program right through to my departure home after 8 weeks of volunteering. The most rewarding aspect for me was the connection that I made with my village family. They were the most amazing and generous people and the Sunday lunch was the highlight every week for me. I will never forget my Na and Ta and seven siblings. The experience was so incredible that I am definitely planning to return!

Lillie Shahabi

16 Aug, 2018
I enrolled on the Childcare programme as I have a passion for working with young children. As I arrived in the last week of October I was only working in the primary school for the month of November as schools are closed in Fiji during December. This meant that I was lucky enough to also work on the community project during the December month. This project really opened up my eyes to the real world and challenges that others face. It makes you really grateful for what we have. The Silana and Natale-I-ra kids just had so much passion and love to give. From the first day that I walked into the school to the very last day, they treated me as if they had known me for a lifetime. It was so refreshing for them to want to play games with you, read a book with you or learn about you and where you came from. They had a thirst to learn about the western culture but they also were very keen for you to learn about them and their community. For me, the most rewarding part of working at the school was my one to one sessions with Pita. He just had something so special about him. Every day he came to the lesson with a smile and found it so rewarding to learn - something that a lot of children here in the UK take for granted. What makes this programme even more special is the fact that you are part of the village and more importantly the Fijian community. Before leaving for Fiji I thought the biggest challenge for me would be missing my family but the GVI staff, volunteers and the Fijian community show so much compassion to you that you feel like they are your family. This project really embraces the Fijian lifestyle and you start to get a real understanding of their culture. Every Sunday we attended the weekly church service and then would have lunch with our Fijian families. I found this very different and a big cultural shock the first time I attended as the way that family meals were served was completely different to what I was used to. As a guest you were seated at the head of the table with the men of the family. We were allowed to eat first and had priority on the fish/ best parts of the meal. I found this quite difficult to start off with as I felt it was unfair that I should get first picks when the Silana women had worked so hard. As a volunteer, you didn't only work at all hours of the day you got to also experience Fiji. As a group, we went away to resorts, explored the capital, went on trips to watch the dolphins and even went snorkeling. You had the sea only a footstep away so swimming was always on the cards. We played board games in the evening, had quiz nights, and movie nights. Food was also very interesting as we cooked in teams so you may know what's on the menu but the same dish may not turn out the same on two different nights. Coming back to London felt strange and it made me really think about what is truly important. Family has always played a big role for me but the way that the community interacted in Fiji really got me thinking. I have continued working in my previous role and I feel that this project has really changed the way I work. I have become more confident and capable of making decisions. For anyone who is reading this or is on the fence whether or not you should go, just pick up the phone and enroll. It is honestly a life-changing experience and the memories will stay with you for a lifetime. Even now I just randomly remember the children's smiles, or the Silana women shouting ‘Kana’ as they were eating. It is a decision and experience you won't regret.

Barbra Ward

15 Aug, 2018
It was with some reservations that I signed up to teach English at Silana Village. James McKie was reassuring and always answered my questions promptly. In spite of being an older volunteer at 70, I felt I had much to offer because I have been self-employed teaching art to anyone from 41/2 to 84 years of age for 20 years. However, I would be teaching English. The experience in art proved to be very useful and at night I gave drawing lessons to anyone who wanted to learn. GVI had been in the village for only 6 weeks when we new volunteers arrived. I have every respect for the young people employed by GVI who dedicate years of their lives helping those less fortunate than we in the developed world are. In this short time, Lauren Bird had arranged for Red Cross to visit the village from Suva, a 4 hour drive away to teach First Aid in the Community Centre, a veterinarian was going to come from Suva to neuter the village dogs and check their health. A large community garden was prepared with the willing help of the youth of the village. Youth in this case means young men up to 35 years of age. They had also, with the help of volunteers, built the kitchen complex for GVI and continue to maintain it. A recycling program was put in place for metal and glass containers which would bring some much-needed cash to the village. The base-camp kitchen rubbish was being composted. Other leftover food was collected and fed to the pigs. A hen house was planned for the chickens who otherwise roost in the breadfruit trees to avoid predators. This way all their eggs can be collected and will provide valuable protein for the villagers. While English is spoken, it is the Fijians third language and the children need to become more fluent in order to get jobs. Our class of 33 students was a composite grade 3/4 with children aged from 7 to 9 years. Teaching was very challenging with noise levels so high that I resorted to using hand signals and drawing on the blackboard. The children love to sing and we often played outdoor games or sang together. Art became useful because the visual pathway to understanding is stronger than auditory - fortunately! The teachers were frequently absent and discipline was difficult. Having said that, most of the children were keen to learn under very difficult circumstances and I felt that the most useful time was spent in one-on-one reading sessions outside the classroom. Do not be put off, the need for education is urgent and we are privileged to be able to provide help. GVI have a strong policy of duty of care toward volunteers and our physical and emotional needs were always considered. Conditions are best described as expedition-style and if you expect the comforts of home you will be disappointed. We were pleased to have a flushing toilet and an outdoor cold water shower. Base-camp is situated on the beachfront and cooling breezes keep the temperature down. Volunteers were rostered on in pairs for cooking and cleaning duties. In our case, two of us cooked 3 meals a day twice a week for 8 people. The electricity supply was intermittent and although we had a refrigerator it was not reliable enough to store meat. So meals were usually based on rice, pasta, tinned soup etc. The village women brought us home-made cakes and gave us fresh vegetables from their garden. Lauren had to bring supplies from Korolevu, the nearest village 40 minutes drive away over a dirt road. On weekends volunteers are free to explore the island. A boat trip to Moon Reef to see the spinner dolphins is a popular excursion from the village. Volunteers are encouraged to support inter-village activities. A bus leaves Silana for Suva every day. I highly value my 2 weeks experience living in the village: assisting the teacher in school, preparing and giving lessons, singing at night around the kava bowl, eating and talking with my village family and playing with the children after school. Being welcomed at all village activities as an esteemed guest was a privilege and an eye-opener to another way of life. There are many things about the Fijian way of life that I would not like to see changed, but they do need and appreciate assistance from the outside world with education and health.

Maya Mehta

15 Aug, 2018
Not only do we provide cross-cultural education but we also learn so much from the village and the children.

Steve Catewell

16 Jan, 2014
After my first visit to Fiji, I had to return, the country, culture and people have found their way into my heart.